March 7, 2018
Are you the mom who has had updated family photos on the brain for a few years but the process of making it happen just seems too daunting? Or the wife who looks back at your beautiful wedding photos and realizes how much you and your husband have changed in the few years since those photos were taken and you’re thinking how fun anniversary photos would be? But you quickly get overwhelmed by things like the perfect location, what to wear and how to get your hubby on board? Maybe you are newly engaged and while you can’t wait for your engagement session, the details are becoming one more overwhelming thing on the wedding planning list. I’m unfortunately not able to make your husband and children jump 100% on board with photos or promise to take all of your wedding planning stress away, but I do think I can offer some insight into the most important components of a photo session that might help ease some of the anxiety and make professional photographs more fun and less stressful on you and those that you love.
I think the majority of anxiety that clients express comes from a lack of knowledge or confidence in the process. I want to take time over the next few weeks to walk you through a few of the most important components of a photo session. As well as lay out my thought process of how I run my sessions to help ease your mind and eliminate the stress associated with having photos taken. I want you to feel educated on things like location and lighting, wardrobe choices (what is most flattering, colors, styling, etc.) and some of the simple things you can do to ensure that you’ll look great on camera.
When you book a session with me, I will ask you a few questions to get a feel for the type of session you’re envisioning from the start to the finished product you’re looking for. While I will ask you about what you have in mind and any specifics that you are looking for, I will not leave you alone to plan and design your session! I won’t ask you to pick every spot that I photograph or leave you wondering how to pose yourself . I’m here for you for all of those things! But the questions are a great for you to give me your vision as a foundation. This week, I’d like to start with the first details I always nail down with clients before a session, the When and Where. As the client, you always get to chose the session location you prefer. All I ask is that I get first pick on the When. The rest of this post will walk you through why that is my top request.
Let me begin by telling you about the magical, mystical, AMAZING time of the day that photographers fondly refer to as Golden Hour. It happens every day (at least when there is sun) and though you live through it too, you probably don’t see it the way I do. Golden Hour, simply put, is the two hour window of time before the sun disappears behind the tree line on a sunny day. It’s a simple concept but why is it so special and why should you go out of your way to allow your photographer to schedule your session during this time frame? Because, trust me, I’m the photographer, right? While that might be enough reason for some people, I want you to truly understand why I stress this time of day for photo sessions. Even when it’s slightly inconvenient. Even when I have to ask you to go out of your way to make it happen because as a people-pleaser, that is something I really don’t like to do!
Want to know a secret? The camera LOVES the light produced during Golden Hour and it makes my job so much more effortless. It’s the time of day where instead of casting harsh shadows and being pretty painful on the eyes, the sun is actually doing you every favor in the book. Not only is the light indirect, it’s producing a soft, warm, golden glow all over and around you! This kind of light is going to make any location you chose that much more beautiful and it’s going to produce amazing effects on the subject; YOU!
I shot a session for some friends of mine back during the holidays. We were out in a regular ‘ole field as the sun was just beginning to come down out of the sky for the day. I stood them in the spot I had picked out and took a few test shots to get my settings just right. I was so excited when I checked my screen that I had to show my friend and her fiance how amazing they were doing already. We all took a moment to ohhh and ahhh and her fiance joked that they could be done with the session just on those few shots I had snapped because things looked THAT dreamy! Good lighting takes an ordinary location and transforms it into drop dead gorgeous photos. So trust me when I urge you to schedule your sessions during Golden Hour. If I suggest a really random spot for photos during a session, I promise it’s because my lighting radar is dinging and to me, good light trumps the picture perfect background every time. And for my brides, when I suggest we build in a 20 or 30 min window for bride and groom portraits on the wedding day just before sunset, agree! You won’t regret getting pulled away from the party for a few minutes, I promise.
Well friends, that’s all for this week! I hope this helps you understand my point of view on a few things. Remember, my number one goal is to make sure that you have a relaxing, enjoyable time during your session and that you receive beautiful, joyful images that you will treasure for a lifetime. I promise to always be working in your favor! Check back next week for a few tips and tricks on wardrobe choices that look ahhhhmazing on camera!